Aruba, The Bahamas and the US Virgin Islands are among the Caribbean destinations leading the region’s tourism renaissance.
Indeed, the Caribbean’s tourism industry is bouncing back in a big way, with some destinations approaching or even exceeding record visitor arrival numbers.
That includes destinations like The Bahamas, the USVI, Aruba, Jamaica and, of course, the Dominican Republic, which remains the region’s most popular destination by volume.
The US Virgin Islands, for its part, which was among the region’s first destinations to reopen amid the pandemic, has helped lead the way, with sizzling arrival numbers and continued airlift growth. That’s likely to continue following the destination’s announcement that it would be waiving testing for all domestic US visitors.
According to ForwardKeys, a data partner of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, several destinations, including Aruba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and The Bahamas, are proving among the “most resilient” in the region based on confirmed arrivals for the summer.
That includes Mexico, where the Caribbean coast of the country has seen dazzling numbers so far in 2022.
Nicola Madden-Greig, president of the CHTA, said on average, hotels and resorts in the region would be approaching close to 80 percent of their pre-pandemic performance this year.
“These are all great indicators which point to traveler confidence and demand for the Caribbean,” she said. “We are seeing the fruits of years of hard work by the industry and governments throughout the region to invest in our tourism product and our people, and to broaden our appeal as we find new ways to provide a diverse and exciting experience for our visitors.”
Some destinations are setting all-time records, she said, as investment continues to keep pace in new and expanded hotels. (Nearly 30,000 hotel rooms are currently in development in the Caribbean-Mexico region right now, according to STR).
The biggest question is just how strong the summer season will be; last year saw all-time records across the region, with pent-up demand and remote work defusing the idea of the summer as an “off season.”
Early indicators, however, show that the “hot” summer will continue again in 2022.
“While the cost of travel increases worldwide due to these and other factors, we will continue to focus on providing value and exceptional traveler experiences,” Madden-Greig said. “This is particularly important in our highly competitive global marketplace. Despite these challenges, we anticipate over the coming weeks and months to see a proliferation of deals and special offers by the industry to continue to appeal to travelers’ desire to come to the Caribbean.”